In March 2016, REACHLaw as Only Representative (OR) for Joint Stock Company Novotroitsk Plant of Chromium Compounds (NPCC) submitted an upstream application for authorisation covering four uses of chromium trioxide by downstream users in its supply chain. The uses applied for were:
- Use 1: Formulation of mixtures of chromium trioxide for functional chrome plating, functional chrome plating with decorative character and surface treatment (except ETP) for applications in various industry sectors namely architectural, automotive, metal manufacturing and finishing, and general engineering
- Use 2: Functional Chrome Plating
- Use 3: Functional chrome plating with decorative character
- Use 4: Surface treatment (except ETP) for applications in various industry sectors namely architectural, automotive, metal manufacturing and finishing, and general engineering
The REACHLaw authorisation application was identical in content to the CTACSub application although fewer uses were covered.
In May 2017, the ECHA Committees issued positive opinions on all four uses. Due to changes in the authorisation landscape, it took the European Commission more than three years to provide an authorisation for three uses – 1, 2 and 4. These uses were granted authorisation until 21.09.2024.
For use 3, the European Commission retroactively requested REACHLaw to submit a substitution plan in early 2020. CTACSub received a similar request, and both parties submitted a substitution plan, identical in content, to ECHA during the autumn of 2020. ECHA’s Socio-economic Committee has issued its opinion on the substitution plan in spring 2021. It is now for the European Commission to decide on the authorisation for use 3.
As a downstream user in the supply chain of NPCC, your uses of chromium trioxide according to uses 1, 2 and 4 are covered by REACHLaw’s authorisation until 21.09.2024. The authorisation decision impose a number of obligations on you, as a downstream user. In case of non-compliance, you are not covered by the authorisation.
Actions for downstream users covered by uses 1, 2 and 4:
- You must ensure that your supply of chromium trioxide is via the NPCC supply chain. To do that, check that your drums of chromium trioxide are labelled with one of the following authorisation number:
|Authorisation number||Corresponding use|
- You must ensure that your use is consistent with the scope set in the authorisation decision. Your use must also be consistent with the key functionalities listed in the authorisation decision. For uses 2 and 4, at least one of the key functionalities must be necessary for your use:
|Use 2: Functional chrome plating|
Wear resistance, hardness, layer thickness, corrosion resistance, coefficient of friction, or effect on surface morphology
Use 4: Surface treatment (except ETP) for applications in various industry sectors namely architectural, automotive, metal manufacturing and finishing, and general engineering
|Corrosion resistance/ active corrosion inhibition, layer thickness, humidity resistance, adhesion promotion (adhesion to subsequent coating or paint), resistivity, chemical resistance, wear resistance, electrical conductivity, compatibility with substrate, (thermo) optical properties (visual appearance), heat resistance, food safety, coating tension, electric insulation, or deposition speed|
- You must comply with the risk management measures and operational conditions described in the exposure scenarios as given in the updated SDSs you received from NPCC and the conditions laid down in the authorisation decision and its annex.
In addition, you must take the following actions:
- Notify ECHA of your use of an authorised substance within 3 months after you received your first supply of chromium trioxide since the publication of the authorisation decision in the Official Journal on 12.2020.
- Implement all risk management measures and operational conditions and comply with the exposure scenarios of the eSDS updated in March 2021.
- Conduct workplace exposure measurements between 12.2020 and 14.06.2021. Then, repeat the measurements annually. Compile the results into reports and assess the efficacy of your operating conditions and risk management measures.
- Conduct air emission and wastewater measurements annually from 12.2020 onwards. Compile the results into reports and assess the efficacy of your operating conditions and risk management measures.
- Compile your monitoring data into the Excel template. All parameters and conditions must be included. Note you must use the template to be compliant with the conditions of the granted authorisation.
- Submit your Excel file as an update to your Article 66 notification to ECHA by the 14.12.2021.
If you have not submitted your monitoring data to ECHA by this date, you are not compliant with the conditions of the authorisation. ECHA may inform national enforcement authorities and you may have to cease your use of chromium trioxide.
Use 3 covering functional chrome plating with decorative character has not yet received its decision as the European Commission requested the submission of a substitution plan prior taking a decision. As the authorisation application was submitted before the latest application date, your use is permitted via transitional arrangements until the European Commission issues a decision. Due to the delays caused by the retroactive request for a substitution plan, the European Commission is not expected to issue a decision on the authorisation for Use 3 before January 2022.
As of 01.01.2021, REACHLaw as OR for NPCC is now part of the CTACSub (CTAC Submission Consortium). CTACSub have prepared a series of Questions & Answers for downstream users. NPCC downstream users are advised to follow the advice and instructions available from CTACSub relating to how to fulfil their obligations. Please note that the dates given refer to the CTACSub decisions, the deadlines for NPCC downstream users are 4 days earlier.
Guidance to help you comply with the conditions of the authorisation decision and reduce workplace exposure to chromium trioxide can be found from the Good Practice Sheets (section III) prepared by JonesDay.